Friday, October 28, 2011

Another Brick

  "Thump!"    crumble...   crumble...

     I knocked another brick off the Davis brick wall.  I had written about how I couldn't get past my great-great-great-grandfather, William H. Davis.  I found a tree on which had the name Ferris G. Davis.  William had a son named Ferris who was a younger brother to my g-great-grandfather, Daniel.  I sent the owner of this tree a message because the tree is private and I couldn't see it.  I asked if his Ferris G. Davis had a brother named William.  William's son Ferris was born in 1863 but this other Ferris was born in 1841 according to the Civil War records I found.  I thought it might be possible that William H. Davis named one of his sons after his brother.
     Last night I logged into before going to bed and found a message waiting for me.  I was right !!!  The Ferris G. Davis born in 1841 had a brother named William H. Davis.  The owner of that private tree wrote that William was born in 1833.  What ? ? ?  All the census records show abt. 1832.  Okay, well...  if the censuses state 'abt' 1832, I guess his year of birth could be 1833 but David Davis, another brother who was listed in the Civil War records has his year of birth listed as 1833.
     Well, at least I now have William's parents names thanks to the Civil War records.  I've gone back one more generation.  I'm hoping to hear back from the owner of that private Davis family tree on to learn more about my Davis ancestors.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

William H. Davis

     This Davis dilemma is making me dizzy.  I had written in an earlier post about the Davis line that I am researching.  I couldn't get past my g-g-great-grandfather, William H. Davis who according to census records was born abt. 1832 in Milton, NY.  William's son Daniel was my g-great-grandfather.  Daniel had a brother named Ferris.  I had decided to broaden my search to cousins and their descendants.
     During this past weekend, while looking up a few records on, I saw the name Ferris G. Davis in a city directory for Ulster County, NY.  This can't be my g-g-grandfather's brother because the city directory is dated 1871-1872 and lists Ferris G. Davis as a fruit raiser in Milton yet my Ferris was only born in 1863.  After I saw the name Ferris G. Davis in the city directory, I searched the Civil War records and struck gold.  I think... I hope... has records of New York Town Clerk's Registers of Men Who Served in the Civil War, ca 1861-1865 with Ferris name as well as two other brothers, David and Daniel.  This record has the enlisted man's name, residence and date of birth, as well as the parents names and discharge information.  Charles Davis and Susan Lounsberry are listed as the parents of Ferris, David, and Daniel.  Ferris was single and his brothers were married.  David and Ferris returned home to their families. Daniel served in The Battle of Fredericksburg, the Battle of Chancellorsville, and The Battle of Gettysburg.  He was take prisoner at James City and died at Belle Island (prison on the James River, outside Richmond,VA) leaving behind a wife and two young sons.  I didn't see my g-g-g-grandfather, William H. Davis' name in these Civil War records.  If he didn't serve then I wonder how or why he was excused?
     What makes me think that the Davis men I just found are the brothers of my William H. Davis?  Well, I have no actual proof 'yet'.  William lived in the same town as the other Davises and had named two of his sons Ferris and Daniel.  It would be quite a coincidence to have two Ferris G. Davises, who were not related, living in the same town and born a generation apart.  William also had a daughter named Susan who I'm guessing was named after her paternal grandmother, that it, 'if' the Davis boys I found were William's brothers.
     I found on another person who has a Ferris G. Davis (the elder Ferris) on his tree but I wasn't able to see if he could possibly be my Ferris because the tree is private.  I sent the owner of that tree a message inquiring about Ferris G.Davis, born 1841 and his brothers.  until I receive a reply, I am left wondering about William.

Belle Isle Prison

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


                                                                    ~  1930  ~

     Is this the year of the disappearing ancestors?  Maybe the name of today's blog post should be 'Absent Ancestors'.

     The first person I ever looked up in the 1930 U.S. Federal Census was my maternal grandmother, Eleanor.  My grandmother's year of birth is listed as 1920 on her death certificate.  I searched and searched but could not find MaMa in the 1930 census.  I did find another Eleanor Davis on the list with a birth year of 1918 and relation to head of household being granddaughter.  I clicked on the 'other' Eleanor out of curiosity and to my surprise found that she was actually my grandmother.  If I had looked up my great-great-grandmother's name I would not have found her because it is spelled incorrectly.  The last name is spelled 'Dupes' instead of 'Duper'.  Even though MaMa's year of birth is listed as 1918 and her grandmother's last name is wrong, I know this is my family.  MaMa's grandmother's first name was Teresa and her uncles (in this census) were Steven and Gerald.  This is indeed my family because the first names, dates of birth, and relationships are correct.
     When I first saw my grandmother's date of birth in the 1930 census listed as 1918 and her age as 12 years I thought her grandmother had been mistaken.  MaMa should be 10 years old in 1930.  When I looked at the 1930 U.S. Census I was not yet a subscriber of but was able to view it for free because the census had just been released to the public and offered it for free for the weekend.  After I became a subscriber I checked the 1920 U.S. Census for MaMa's parents Samuel and Josephine Davis.  My g-great-grandmother, Teresa provided the census taker with the correct information regarding her granddaughter.  MaMa was born June 3rd in 1918 and not 1920.
     Why was my grandmother living with her maternal grandmother, Teresa Duper in 1930?  Where were her parents and three younger brothers?  Since viewing that census I had discovered that my grandmother's younger sister died at the age of 3 in 1927 and her baby brother William was born the very next day.  If MaMa was living with her grandmother because her own mother was under stress then where were her brothers?  I checked all their names and haven't found any of the boys in the 1930 census.  That remains a mystery.
     In the 1930 census, I found two of MaMa's uncles living with their mother, Teresa in Brooklyn,NY.  Uncle Gerald was 19 years old and single.  Uncle Steven was 32 years and married.  His wife is not listed in this census; well, not in 'this' household.  Uncle Steve was married to Mary and is listed with his wife in the 1920 census.  Where was Aunt Mary in 1930?  Why wasn't she with her husband?  I know she was alive in 1930 because I remember her spending the holidays with my grandmother.  Aunt Mary didn't die until 1986.  She was predeceased by Uncle Steve who died February 23, 1969.  Maybe she had her own apartment in Manhattan?  That's where she and her husband lived in 1920.
     I always thought my g-great-grandmother, Teresa was a widow in 1930 even though the census states that she was married and she was listed with her husband in the 1920 census.  I stumbled across an obituary in the Brooklyn Eagle newspaper for my g-great-grandfather, Stephen Duper.  The obituary stated that he was the loving husband of Teresa duper and that he died at their home.  He died July 16, 1931 so where was he the year before when he was still alive?
     I guess I'll try the city directories next.  I don't know why I haven't checked those yet.  Anybody who might have known my missing ancestors whereabouts in 1930 is already dead so it looks like I'm on my own.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Cousin Connection

     As I stated in my last post, I am researching the 'Davis' line and can't get past William H. Davis who was born abt. 1832 in Milton,NY.  His son Daniel was my great-great grandfather.  Daniel Davis is buried in Poughkeepsie Rural Cemetery which is located in Poughkeepsie,NY.  Daniel's brother Melville is also in that same cemetery but in a different section.
     The 1930 U.S. Federal Census shows Daniel and Melville living approximately five minutes away from each other i Poughkeepsie.  Their other brother Ferris lived about 15-20 minutes north in Hyde Park,NY but Ferris' son George lived near his uncles in Poughkeepsie.
     I already knew that Ferris was not buried in the Poughkeepsie Rural Cemetery so I called the cemetery back to inquire about the Davis brother' father, William.  My g-g-great grandfather, William H. Davis is not buried in the Poughkeepsie Rural Cemetery.  I do not know where Ferris' final resting place is nor do I know about his father.
     I recently located a man who I believe is my fourth cousin.  I will not mention his name because he is still alive.  I'm going to contact my new discovery to find out if he is indeed a cousin and what he might know about our Davis ancestors.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


     My maternal grandmother's maiden name was Davis.  Her father's first name was Samuel and her paternal grandfather was Daniel.  This information was verified with death certificates, cemetery records and censuses.  According to my great-great-grandfather Daniel's death certificate, his father was William H. Davis from Milton,NY and his mother was Emily Martin from Lloyd,NY.
     Before I subscribed to I had looked at the social security death index online, read the message boards and even created my tree for free.  The first census I ever looked at was the 1880 U.S. Federal Census which is available for free at  This census shows a Daniel J. Davis, age 21, with an estimated birth year of 1859 and parents William H.d Davis and Emily Davis.  My Daniel Davis was born January 1, 1860.  I wrote down the details of this census.  I wasn't sure if this was my g-great-grandfather who is listed with his parents and six siblings.  After I bought my annual subscription to I checked the 1870 U.S. census and found Daniel again. This time there are two more older sisters listed and also one of the questions asked is whether deaf & dumb blind, insane, or idiotic.  Daniel J. Davis is listed as deaf & dumb.  My g-great-grandfather was a deaf-mute.  I was pretty sure that I had the right Daniel Davis.  How many Daniel Davises were born in Milton,NY in the year 1860 to William H. and Emily Davis and were also deaf-mutes?  The 1860 census has Daniel's older sisters Susan and Adelia living with their parents William H. and Emily in Marlborough,NY.  The post office for this area was Milton; same town that Daniel was born in.  I don't know why Daniel Davies wasn't listed in the 1860 census.  His birth date was January 1st and the census was counting "every person whose usual place of abode on the first day of June, 1860, was in this family".  Was he not counted because he was only 6 months old?  Even with Daniel missing from the 1860 census I was still sure that these were my ancestors.  I added their names to my tree on and attached the census records.  The 1850 U.S. Federal Census has an 18 year old William H. Davis living with Edwin and Adielia Bortlet (Bartlet?) and their two children in Marlborough,NY.  Every census I checked for William H. Davis has the town listed as Marlborough so I'm guessing that this 18 year old is my William H. Davis and he was living with his sister and brother-in-law.  Four years later he and his wife Emily were blessed with a daughter who they named Adelia. I haven't found William H. Davis before 1850.  I don't like the censuses before 1850. There are quite a few Davises in Marlborough,NY and I don't know if any of them are mine.
     According to the censuses I've checked, William H. Davis was born abt 1832.  I have no idea who his parents were and until I find out when and where he died (to get birth info), I'll never know.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Blah............... blog

     The last time I wrote was to say that I'll be posting old photos to my 'boring' blog to make it more 'interesting'.  I must have jinxed myself because that weekend I was not feeling well.  My four year old son had an ear infection and a cold and passed his cold on to me.

     feeling to Blah.............

                           to Blog

Be Back Soon.